July 1 is Canada Day and also the start of what should be an exciting NHL free agency period.
There are many very good unrestricted and restricted free agents available for teams to pursue, beginning with three Columbus Blue Jackets stars. Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, center Matt Duchene and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are three of the top five players on the market, and it'll be interesting to see if Columbus is able to retain any of them.
Free agency often is not where teams make their most impactful moves, but it's a great time to find the role players, such as the bottom-six forwards and third-pairing defensemen who provide valuable depth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
In fact, the most active Canadian teams in free agency during the salary cap era have won a combined zero Stanley Cup titles.
Keep it right here for the latest rumors, contracts and other news from the start of NHL free agency.
5:50 p.m.: The action has quieted down considerably. There are still good players unsigned, including defenseman Jake Gardiner.
Nothing yet to report on free agent Jake Gardiner. Highly-skilled #mapleleafs defenseman has multiple options, but term seems to be biggest issue coming off a back injury that has actually healed quite nicely since the season— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
#Isles announce G Semyon Varlamov has agreed to a four-year deal.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) July 1, 2019
Anders Lee gets $7 million AAV on a 7-year deal with the #isles— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
Hearing that the Habs first discussed the offer sheet scenario involving Brayden Point but then shifted gears to Sebastian Aho after thinking they'd have a better chance to get the player. Both Point and Aho are represented by agent Gerry Johansson.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
2:50 p.m.: News is still trickling in. Here's the latest.
The Canadiens have announced that they have tendered an offer sheet to restricted free agent Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes. The proposed contract is for five years, with an average annual value of $8.454 million.#GoHabsGo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 1, 2019
Jordie Benn confirms he received the same 2-year/$2M offer from Habs. Elected to sign with #Canucks— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) July 1, 2019
Gus Nyquist is heading to Columbus.#signingseason— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 1, 2019
1:06 p.m.: Sergei Bobrovsky is headed to Florida.
Bobrovsky 7x10, NMC first five years— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
Sergei Bobrovsky's seven-year deal with #FlaPanthers carries a $10M AAV -- second to Carey Price ($10.5M) among NHL goaltenders.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2019
12:35 p.m.: Reported deals are still coming in.
Red Wings bring back Valtteri Filppula on 2-year contract.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 1, 2019
Connolly gets 4-year deal w Fla. ($3.5M per year).— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) July 1, 2019
12:20 p.m.: Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin are off the board.
Noel Acciari’s AAV is $1.67M on a three year deal in FLA.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2019
Panarin deal with Rangers will come in at around $11.6M per, Post is told— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 1, 2019
Corey Perry's bonuses in DAL could take him up to $3.25M on a one-year deal— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
Penguins confirm Tanev deal is 6 years, $3.5 million AAV. That should do it for the Penguins today. Jim Rutherford plans to speak with reporters at 2.— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPGH) July 1, 2019
Cam Talbot agreed to $2.75M, 1-year deal with Flames.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 1, 2019
Mike Smith $2M, 1 year plus incentives with Oilers.
Mats Zuccarello to the Wild, 5 years and $30 million, is official.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) July 1, 2019
Duchene contract with Preds includes $28 million in signing bonus money. Year by year total: $10 mil, $8 mil, $10mil, $8mil, $9 mil, $6 mil, $5 mil.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2019
Jason Spezza to the Maple Leafs, 1 year deal, $700k, is official.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) July 1, 2019
Noon: Free agency has begun! Here's the latest.
Not yet confirmed, but hearing Panarin's deal with NYR will come in at 7-years in the neighborhood of $84M.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2019
Hearing that the San Jose Sharks are closing in on re-signing RFA star winger Timo Meier, huge signing for them. They kept UFA star D Erik Karlsson off the UFA market and now are about to lock up a key core player.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
6 Years https://t.co/1GJDmCpIP8— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 1, 2019
11:50 a.m.: Connor Clifton is staying in Boston.
Three more years of #CliffyHockey. #NHLBruins have agreed to terms on a three-year extension with Connor Clifton worth $3 million total. He has one year left at $725k, extension can be papered as soon as today.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 1, 2019
11:46 a.m.: Bruins fourth-line forward Noel Acciari could be headed to the Florida Panthers.
Hearing Noel Acciari to FLA, three years at around $5M total.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
11:15 a.m. ET: Here's a look at the latest rumors and reports as noon approaches.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jimmy Vesey.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 1, 2019
Thomas Vanek is in talks with multiple teams, but nothing is close as of now.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2019
As my colleague @RussoHockey first reported, Ryan Hartman expected to sign for $1.9 M AAV x two years with the Wild today— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
Hearing that the Florida Panthers are the front-runners to land UFA D Anton Stralman today. Believe the contract being discussed is three years, $16.5 million total— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
According to sources, Carolina got calls from 3 different teams today on Sebastian Aho, hinting at an offer sheet. The 'Canes told them they would match any offer sheet. Carolina did tell them they would entertain trade conversation. Believe that Habs is among 3 teams who called— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
Hearing Tampa Bay is the front-runner to land UFA goalie Curtis McElhinney. Not a done deal yet but the Lightning right now are most likely destination.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
AHL playoff MVP Andrew Poturalski is going to ANA...Josiah Didier, who played on D for the winners from Charlotte, appears headed to BOS— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
Patrick Maroon is in talks with several clubs, but as of now nothing's close. Blues aren't officially out of it, but right now it sounds like he'll be moving on.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2019
Keep an eye on Micheal Ferland as it relates to the #Avs.— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) July 1, 2019
There are "hurdles" as it stands with the most notable aspect being term, a source has told The Athletic.
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